What can go wrong with my roof?

Written by Barb Bozak on . Posted in Roof

The lifespan of a roof is measured in decades. If you purchased your home as new construction or have lived there a decade or less, you may never have had to consider replacing your roof. However, because of exposure to the elements and other factors, a roof does eventually wear out. Putting off the job can expose you to risks of structural damage to your home. Is your roof showing its age? These are a few things that can go wrong when a roofing replacement is put off:

1. Attic damage.

A worn roof can become a leaky roof. When this happens, water incursions can lead to damage in your attic. Items stored in the attic may become water damaged. You may even suffer damage to materials that are integral to your house’s structure.

2. Ceiling and wall damage.

If water collects in the attic, it can seep down into your ceilings, leading to significant damage. Water damage on the ceiling can appear as dark spots on the ceilings or walls. You may also see paint bubbling away from surfaces as water ruins your paint’s adhesion. Materials can degrade, which can mean costly repairs and replacements.

3. Mold and mildew.

Mold spores are everywhere. It does not matter how frequently you clean. These particles are airborne and invisible. All they are waiting for is enough moisture to grow. A damaged roof lets moisture inside, leading to a damper atmosphere in your home. When this happens, you may see mold develop in the attic, on your ceiling and walls and even on other surfaces inside your home. Mold can be dangerous to people with breathing problems or mold allergies. These people may experience coughing, sneezing or breathing problems if your home develops a mold infestation.

4. Fire hazards.

Many homes have wiring and circuit breakers in the attic. If these are exposed to water, short circuits can start fires. If you notice that water is getting near your wiring, this is nothing short of an emergency. Power should be cut off to the area until your roof is repaired or replaced.

5. Higher power bills.

A damaged older roof does not insulate well. As a result, your HVAC systems will have to work harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This means a hotter attic in the summer and one that leaks heat during our area’s colder months. Getting your roof replaced is an investment. However, if it was not insulating well before, you’ll notice an improvement in your power bills immediately.

Most roofs are designed to last between 20 and 30 years. After that, it is time to start fresh with a new roof that can better protect your home. Is your roof nearing the end of its useful life? Get in touch today. Our roofing contractors can discuss the current state of your roof and what is needed to keep your home safe and protected.

Watch Out for Roofing Scams

Written by Barb Bozak on . Posted in Roof

They show up after every storm: scammers exploiting home and business owners whose roofs need repairs of storm-related damage. At best, these are often unlicensed roofing contractors who lack the insurance and credentials required by law. At worse, they are con artists who take consumers’ money and never show up to complete the job. Look out for the following warning signs before agreeing to let someone fix your roof:

1. The contractor knocks on your door.

In general, roofing contractors who are on the up and up will not market their business by walking around the neighborhood. They will use more traditional channels and often let consumers come to them. We want you to do your research and be comfortable with the service we are offering. A strong arm salesman who shows up on your doorstep should be treated with suspicion.

2. They ask for cash.

If someone wants money up front in an untraceable format, you have no guarantees that they will do the work that they are offering.

3. They undercharge for the job.

Have an offer that is hundreds less than estimates from other roofing companies? That is a sign that that contractor is cutting corners. Chances are, they have not invested in the bond and insurance that are required by law. These policies are there to protect the homeowner. If someone is injured working on your roof and they are not insured, your homeowner’s insurance may wind up on the hook. This means higher rates for you and even the possibility of losing your policy.

4. They don’t have a working company name.

These individuals will probably lack business cards, a business phone number and a physical address for their roofing company. This makes it harder for someone to hold them accountable if they do not do a good job or if they abandon the work before it is done.

5. They don’t offer a written contract.

Our contracts detail, in writing, what you can expect from us and how much you can expect to pay. Additionally, you have a right to cancel contracts within three days if you signed one based on a contractor’s visit to your home. Without a contract in place, you do not have the assurances you need.

What to do if you are approached by scammers

There are many protections in place to help ensure that scammers do not separate you from your hard earned cash. If a contractor makes you uneasy, call the state Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438. They can tell you whether any complaints have been filed against a contractor. If you are suspicious of activities in your area, call local law enforcement. You can also look up licensed roofers online.

Before choosing a contractor, compare a few estimates. Ask for references. Get recommendations from people who you trust.

And, never pay in cash and never pay before the job is finished and you are satisfied.

By taking some caution now, you can avoid being taken in by a scammer and failing to get the product you paid for.

Has your roof been damaged by a recent storm? We can help. Call us today for a consultation and a written estimate.

Metal Roofing: How to Choose the Right Type for Your Home

Written by Barb Bozak on . Posted in Roof

If it’s time for a new roof, perhaps it’s also time to consider your options. Traditional roofs consisting of wood, asphalt, or fiberglass shingles are popular, and they’re what many of us are comfortable with. But it can also be worthwhile to talk over your metal roofing options with an experienced metal roofing contractor like Conrad Roofing.

Metal Roofing Advantages

Why do people choose metal roofing? There are many advantages to a metal roof.

    • Durability: A traditional asphalt roof needs to be re-roofed every 12 to 20 years; metal roofing outlasts traditional roofing materials because it’s engineered to take any punishment Mother Nature dishes out.
    • Efficiency: Your heating and cooling costs are likely to be lower because metal roofs do a better job of keeping you cool in winter and trapping heat in summer. Bonus: they’re also less prone to leak!
    • Long-Term Savings: Because of the materials used and the skill required to install by a qualified metal roofing contractor, metal roofs cost more in the short term. But when you’ve got a product that can be warranted for thirty to fifty years, you realize that you could easily go through two or three traditional roofs during the time you’ve got an equivalent metal roof. In fact, your metal roof may well outlast you!
    • Resale Value: Besides adding curb appeal, a metal roof adds to resale value because it needs less maintenance.
    • Variety: As you’ll see below, metal roofs are available in more styles than you probably realized.

Metal Roof Types

If you’re not as familiar with metal roofs as we are at Conrad Roofing, the phrase “metal roof” probably brings to mind one very specific type of metal roof: the plain vertical panel roofs that are a mainstay of houses, industrial parks, self-storage sheds, and other types of structures. That’s the most common type, but hardly the only one. Your options include:

Metal Tiles

These can be textured and shaped to look like all kinds of materials, from slate to attractive Mediterranean terra cotta tiles. However, these weigh a fraction of their stone counterparts, making them much easier to design around from a structural standpoint, and much more practical in heavy snow.

Metal Shingles

Stronger, lighter, and more water-tight than traditional asphalt shingles, metal shingles offer other advantages as well. There’s a broader range of colors and textures available, making it easy to perfectly match or contrast your roofing and siding.

Metal Shakes

Cedar and other wood shakes are lovely, but they’re prone to weather badly and decay. They’re also prone to moss buildup, and things like leaves and pine needles stick to them as if they’ve been applied with Velcro. Metal shakes give you the texture and character but with fire and weather resistance.

Vertical Panels

As mentioned above, these are so common that they’re often the first thing people think of when they think about a metal roof. Their ease of installation and clean look makes them ideal in a number of applications, they clean easily, and they’re as durable as they are economical. They’re also a great fit for more modern home designs, where a wood or slate look isn’t desired.

If you’re unsure of where to start, or would like to weigh the different options, benefits, and drawbacks of a metal roof, it’s time to consult the experts. Conrad Roofing is here to help!

Preparing Your Metal Roof for Winter: A Quick Guide

Written by Barb Bozak on . Posted in Roof

Living in the Chicago area means culture, world-class architecture, and the best Polish sausage and deep dish pizza on the planet. Oh, and brutal winters. While it still may seem too early to think about snow it’s important to start prepping your home now.

Metal roofs are known for their durability and their insulating properties. But that doesn’t mean that once your metal roof is installed there’s nothing else to be done. Like any roof, a metal roof needs a bit of TLC when the cold weather hits.

Potential Roof Damage Caused by Winter Weather

    • Ice Dams: Ice dams happen when the snow on the lower part of your roof starts to melt and then re-freezes. As the snow behind it melts, the ice creates a dam, trapping the water, which can then back up into your home.
    • Roof Leaks: Ice is insidious. Water can get in through the smallest hole or seam, and when it freezes, it expands. That expansion acts like a crowbar, creating space for leaks and other damage.
    • Snow Slides: Your roof is packed with snow and ice which can quickly become hazardous. Snow and ice don’t often come off in tidy cubes; sometimes a whole sheet comes off at once, causing a hazard for anyone standing below.
    • Leaky Ceilings: If water gets through your roof, it has to go somewhere. Often as not, you’ll find yourself leaving buckets, pots, and pans throughout the house to catch the drips.
    • Gutter Damage: The weight of snow and ice on your gutters can be enough to damage or destroy them. If your gutters freeze, they’re also keeping water from draining properly from your roof.
    • Roof Collapse: In extreme cases — especially after several repeated freeze-thaw cycles — the weight that accumulates on any roof, no matter how well-built, can lead to structural damage or collapse.

How to Prepare Your Metal Roof for Winter

There are some steps you can take to keep Old Man Winter out of your home:

Start Early

You should start by keeping your roof and gutters clear of debris year round to ensure proper drainage. An inspection for condensation and leakage inside your attic in the fall gives you time for needed repairs before the snow comes.

Don’t Let Snow Pile Up

Many of the problems listed above are caused or exacerbated by snow accumulation. A snow rake is a must. If you’re not comfortable getting up on your roof (it’s not for the inexperienced or faint of heart), hire a roofing professional.

Install Snow Guards or Stops

Many metal roofs come with these installed, and you’ve probably seen them. These small projections on the roof help ensure that snow doesn’t melt and come off your roof all at once.

Schedule an Inspection

One of the best things we can suggest is calling an experienced roofer — especially one that specializes in metal roofing — for a pre-season inspection. A roofer like Conrad Roofing has the experience to spot and repair small problems so they don’t become big issues later. We can also give you further advice to make it easier to get through the winter months with your roof — and your sanity — intact.

For more information, or to schedule inspections, roof repairs, custom metal fabrication, or consulting services, call Conrad Roofing of Illinois at 773-286-6212 today.

6 Things to Ask Your Roofing Contractor

Written by Barb Bozak on . Posted in Roof

The roof on your house is one of the most expensive and intensive maintenance tasks you’ll take on. To ensure that the job is done right, you need a roofing company you can trust. Be sure to ask these questions before hiring someone to do the job:

1. What is your roofing company’s legal business name?

Like other areas of construction and contracting, there are many fly by night operations offering roofing. To ensure that you are in good hands, make sure that you are working with someone with a real business presence. In some cases, you will hear that the name they market with is their legal name. In others, it will be a second legal name that is different from the marketing name. What’s important is that a legal name exist. You are less likely to experience problems with a company you can track down.

2. What sort of insurance do you carry?

Roofing contractors in Chicago and other parts of Illinois must be licensed and insured. They must carry $500,000 of personal injury insurance and $250,000 of property damage insurance. You can verify insurance by looking it up in the state’s system. Companies that do not carry proper insurance can leave you with costly liabilities on your homeowner’s insurance; it’s vital to make sure the company handling your roof is covered.

3. What do you do in case of inclement weather during the job?

In most cases, we can schedule your roofing job so that it will not be interrupted by storms or other bad weather. However, if unexpected downpours do occur, it’s best to work with someone who can cover your roof to avoid moisture. We’ll discuss the process so that you understand how you are protected.

4. Ask if your contractor is licensed to do business in our state.

It is required by state law to be licensed in order to business in the state of Illinois. Please ask your contractor for the necessary paperwork to ensure that they are licensed and in good standing.

5. What is the warranty on my roof?

How long your new roof will be warrantied for depends on the material. Make sure that you have a strong understanding of the time your roof is expected to last and what remedies are available if you develop problems sometime down the road.

6. Can you provide references?

Seeing that others have had a good experience with a company can help you be more sure that you will, too. A quality roofing company should be willing to provide references upon request.

Research a few companies so that you know you are in good hands. By doing your due diligence now, you can ensure that you have a new roof that you will be happy with for years to come.

Is a Metal Roof for You?

Written by Barb Bozak on . Posted in Roof

Adding a metal roof to your home is a major decision. These roofs are more expensive up front and significantly change the look of your home if you had another type of roof before. Metal roofing, however, also have a wide array of advantages. Is it the right choice for you? Think about these potential benefits:

Company Information

5122 N. Elston Ave.
Chicago, IL 60630

Tel: 773 286.6212
Fax: 773 286.6211


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